Tuesday assorted links


4. What's next Ross, a national ban on birth control for the same reasons?

(Because basically when you go to a minority religious viewpoint to drive mational courts there are no limits. Any minority religion which gains justices may make the rules.)


Vox polls likely provide proof of peak public education monopoly.

In 1973, abortion was a minority religious viewpoint, except among seven unelected SC justices. See above.

Every time a liberal cries an angel gets his wings.

It's still a minority religious view. Why should my religion dictate your loss of individual liberty?

I find it interesting that the "pro-life" people proclaim proudly, self righteously, "I chose to have this baby", as proof that they are correct to be anti-choice.

I think we should all applaud President Trump on nominating a wise, thoughtful, legal scholar to replace Justice Kennedy. As long as Kavanaugh has the right views on family court I think the Democrats should reach across the aisle and support his nomination.

Shut up. You have no idea what you are talking about.

It would serve your ilk right if SCOTUS decided to consult the penumbras emanating from the BoR and the mystery of human life to decide that a fetus is a person at the moment of conception entitled to full legal protection, but, of course, reversing the Court's egregious judicial activism will mean throwing the issue back to the states, which is where it properly belongs (it's amazing how the left, which has historically seen federalism as a great obstacle to its agenda, has suddenly rediscovered its virtues, which is yet another a salutary effect of TDS).

By "my ilk" do you mean the majority?

So, the HELA cells are human life, immortal human life.

Given HELA cells can live and multiply without being inside a person, aren't they more "individual" than an embryo?

Are frozen embryos, e.g. fertilized eggs, individuals. They are not in a person, but are truly individual. Can they be owned as property, contrary to the 13th amendment? If im paying to keep them frozen, aren't they tax deductible dependents given i pay for 100% of their support?

Even as religion, the "life begins at conception", and "a fetus is person" is illogical.

And I find 90% of those who claim sanctity of life call life sacred only before birth, and they find lots of reasons to either kill or ensure persons die. E.g. Sessions sees no sanctity of life for non-US citizen persons or poor US, sick, disabled citizens, while seeking to mandate women give birth based on sanctity of life which ends at birth.

Well ignoring the vile accusations against Sessions and other Republicans, why are you objecting to the HeLa cells? Can we agree that when Jonas Salk used them to make his polio vaccine not a single one of them had seen the inside of Henrietta Lacks? That they did not belong to her and her family had no grounds for complaint?

They are, after all, just a clump of cells.

Progressives are a minority as well. A bit more Cult-like though. So why should they be allowed to use the Courts to force their views on the rest of us?

California and New York had legal abortion before Roe v Wade. It is bad law whether you think the intent was good or not - and the openly expressed desire to kill the unborn of the genetically unfit made by many supporters - including Ruth Bader Ginsberg - suggests to me that the intent was bad.

I hope the Court does strike it down. I expect the result would be that 50 states legalize abortion.

" A bit more Cult-like though."
You mean "Cuck" don't you? You keep bragging about your wife on MR, its getting annoying.

As I was reading I was wondering when I would see Cornell Wests name pop up. It was sooner rather than later.


What you guys dont realize is Obama is a dirty name on the left. For being a centrist sellout.

Yes, as an occasional listener to Pacifica Radio, and occasional reader of the The Nation, I am very familiar with the far left’s hatred of Obama (who was the further left member of the Senate). Cornel West, Noam Chomsky, Ralph Nader, etc. I love hearing/reading this stuff because there’s a Darwinian pleasure in seeing the Left eat itself.

My commie, twin brother is as far left as I am right. He also hated Hillary. She is in bed with Wall Street and beloved of big banks.

Her faux love of abortion, climate, gay rights, gun confiscation, health, migrants, Muslims, etc. is all camouflage.

"My commie, twin brother" It appears totalitarianism is genetic.

I guess the chaos in the UK regarding May and Brexit will be the subject of one of Prof. Cowen's columns.

In the past, he seemed to enjoy providing dire warnings of Brexit's effects. The odds of a hard Brexit are much higher now, if only because it appears as if no one in the British government actually has any idea of what is actually going on in this regard.

Meaning the now departed Johnson might have been right saying Trump would do the job better - Trump at least seems to enjoy causing chaos, and never caring about the aftermath.

Just don't say "Russia." Wink-wink.

Novichok is the killer term in the UK.

Not that a former KGB agent likely knows anything about that, right?

Trump spoke to reporters before leaving for the NATO summit in Brussels, the first stop on his trip. He then plans to travel to the United Kingdom where he will hold talks with Prime Minister Theresa May and meet with Queen Elizabeth II. Trump will have his first standalone summit with Putin in Helsinki, Finland, Monday.
President Donald J. Trump today:

"I have NATO. I have the UK, which is in somewhat turmoil. And I have Putin. Frankly, Putin may be the easiest of them all," Trump said Tuesday. "Who would think?"

Troll master intergalactic.

Trump is very entertaining, I respect his troll game. I just wish he wasn't president.

I know it takes a real force of will for some of you, but try reading it not as a troll. Try reading it as Trump sharing his experience.

He really does think Putin is his friend, and easier than Britain, who is his adversary.

He may well believe those things. But that is not what he actually said.

You need to listen to what he says and not what your bizarro view of the world tells you he said.

Because I mean seriously, destroying NATO to own the libs?

You have to be in a pretty messed-up place to even think that makes sense.

Trump is correctly calling the Europeans on their freeloading. Trolling of the Russian obsessives is extra. They think Trump is stupid but he’s way ahead of them; they are incapable of understanding his genius.

I buy the argument that NATO, and even the EU, was a bulkwork against anti-democratic forces, and that our buying a few Porsches was a small enough price to pay.

I hope you understand Trump's overt position, that anti-democratic forces are now preferred to that bulkwork for democracy.

This is possibly related to Putin anchoring himself as a leader of white populism. Or possibly just related to Putin's position as the model corrupt oligarch to which Trump aspires.

The problem is that so much of the things you think are so just aren't. If that is Trump's overt position, when he did overtly say it?

What's your wife's favorite position? You're a cuck I hear.

Many NATO countries have been freeloading for decades. It is a disgrace. The defence spending / gdp ratio doesn't even tell the full horror. A lot of what gets spent is worthless pensions or meal-and-mortgage ticket for conscript troops of near-zero military value.

The defence equipment budget / gdp ratio should be used instead. Germany and Spain are particularly bad offenders. They should be suspended from NATO, until they decide to be serious.

“The legal, as well as moral, basis for affirmative action lay in the culpability of the United States and all of its layers of government in the enslavement and Jim Crow ‘hobbling’ of African-Americans—a unique history of oppression of a specific people that requires institutional redress,” Ford has written. “Otherwise, the legacies of these crimes will reproduce themselves, in mutating forms, into infinity.

Into infinity! There's your con, right there, people.

3. and 4. When one's policy views are held by a minority, then abandoning democratic principles and packing the courts with activist judges are the tricks of the political trade, even if wrapped in high-minded soundbites. We are headed for a period of cultural and political clashes not seen since integration. It's altogether different taking away rights than recognizing them. Imposing the will of the minority on the majority by justices appointed by a president and confirmed by a Senate elected by a minority of voters is not the blueprint for a stable government, economy, or country. With an authoritarian president and a base of support willing to resort to violence in order to impose the minority's views on the majority, I fear for our country. We take order and stability for granted until it's lost. Order and stability are conservative priorities, yet it's the Republican Party that is willing to eschew order and stability as an acceptable price to pay in order to impose the Party's minority views on the majority.

You guys are doing well. Everyone loves your can-do message of opposition to Trump, entitlement to our money, resistance to Trump, demands for even more of our money, and dog-whistlin’ about murdering Trump and anyone else who doesn’t hate Trump or want to give Democrats our money.

During Obama's fantastic (for the GOP) regnum, you suffered huge losses in state legislatures, state houses and congressional seats. Since Obama became president, the Democrats lost 63 House seats, 10 Senate seats and 14 governorships. President Trump will fill over 100 Federal judicial and one or two more SCOTUS vacancies. Wow!

The more the crying and screaming the better the chances, this November, of Trump gaining senate seats in heavily-red states.

John Knox, "A man with God is always in the majority." Abortion is murder.

Your posts are murder.

You're welcome. Could you send me a selfie of you weeping like a girl?

Not surprised you're into crying child porn.

I'll send you pics of my wife in various states of undress. She's definitely not underaged but she loves BBC. Not my small white d but Big Strong Black D.

Wow what a confused person you are. Either it's "we won because we have th emajority" or "we won because we are morally superior to the majority."

Trump will not fill that many judicial seats because in November he will suddenly lose the ability to fill any seats at all.

And that will be the majority. Of an elected country. Not the anti-democratic minority of christofascists, which seems to be where you reside. Your position invalidates your right to have discussions about a free society. Go away.

If you think the Democrats are gonna take the Senate, have I got a money-making opportunity for you!


The litmus (no Catholics need apply; abortion; socialism; etc.) test for senate "advice and consent" (Art. 2, sect. 2) votes is found in section 16 of the imaginary, living constitution.

After the elections, send me a selfie of you weeping like a girl. I'll send you my email address.

So funny he had to post it twice. Sad.

Dick, abortion is murder. On that you are right. Now only if you could reconsider your fascism...

Has Tyler ever taken a position on whether he feels Roe v. Wade was decided "correctly"?

Douthat is right that the Court will not overrule Roe v. Wade explicitly, but will simply uphold more and more restrictions, with Roberts each time attempting to restrain the Court's motion sufficiently to gain the votes of some liberal justices, as he has been doing on affirmative action. But Douthat is wrong that this course will produce massive disillusionment on the anti-abortion right. As long as there is scope for political and legal activism, they will be happy. What causes despair and rage is the O'Connor-esque diktat which tells abortion opponents, "The Court has spoken, the people must obey."

Shucks, I've been stocking up on coat hangers ... waiting for the day.

The right to abort won't be repealed, even with 6 or 7 conservative judges. We're in 2018.

There will always be access for Trumps hookers and mistresses.

This isn't complicated. Abortion restrictions will be allowed to increase until most red states have de facto made it almost impossible to get one. And I wouldn't be surprised if eventually one just outlaws it and the Court says that's fine (overturning R v W).

So the end game is blue states allow it, red states don't, well off red state hypocrites drive or fly to the blue states to take care of things (go long on abortion clinics on the Nevada side of the Utah-Nevada border, the Illinois side of the Indiana-Illinois border, etc), poor red staters have more babies they can't afford who grow up to be a drag on society.

I think you are right about what’s going to happen.

but... if we are going to murder 50 million children to prevent their being a drag on society... why not separate children from their parents as a deterrent? Why not bomb the families of terrorists? Why not round up the disabled, the elderly, low IQs, etc.. and drop them in the ocean.

Some things you just don’t do even if not doing them causes short-term hardship on society at large.

You and I have been through this. One of us thinks a clump of cells is a child, the other does not. Intractable.

It is not really about whether you think an embryo is a child. It is about whether you think you should make that decision for other people.

I personally think it is a hard decision that people should make for themselves, and not easily.

And from that perspective I see one side trying to force the decision more than the other.

It’s not a decision for themselves... it’s choosing ones economic convience over the lives others. It’s not really that different from building walls to keep out undesirables.

Polar Bear, the problem is the side forcing the issue (vs allowing choice) is doing so because they believe they are preventing murder. There's almost nothing you would not do to prevent murder, is there? At least in terms of laws and persuasion. You decide a clump of cells is a person, then you must advocate for those people.

Even if you want to call them a clump of cells that will later develop into a person, I am for allowing the one to develop to chose whether they develop or not.

Talk about not having a choice... haha.

How will you determine what the clump of cells chooses? It doesn't have any cognition.

How do Mulp and prior fare with these definitions?

Why are you asking me?

Neither does a 5 month old.

So that 5 month old found buried alive, no harm no foul. It wasn’t a fully functional self sufficient human being.

Well that’s to far you say... what about the second they come out from the vaginal canal... what about 1 hour before that? What about 2 months before that...

There is really only one point we can point to and say prior to this it wasn’t a genetically intact homo sapien.

Once it is a genetically intact homo sapien... you are making a decision for it and not an individual decision that only affects you.

Let me breath screams every the clump of cells at that point (if they could).

We know when life begins... and the right to life is protected under the constitution.

Roe v Wade was not only Nazi like immorality, it’s legal basis is a farce given what we know today.

Again, objective facts are not your friend here. The dividing line is self-sufficiency for existence. A 7 month old fetus can survive outside the womb. Killing that is murder. A 5 month old baby of course is the same thing.

A month old clump of cells is not a person. It's not even an animal.

You should study medical embryology. It is not a 'clump of cells.' You seem to enjoy using that euphemism for some reason. At three weeks there is a rudimentary nervous system and beating heart.

Still not even close to a person, or viable. Not even an animal.

I agree with your "intractable" thesis. But it undermines "viability" as a decision-driver. Just leave it at "intractable."

If you are telling me an infant 7 months after conception is self sufficient, you are kidding yourself. We have to make a fake womb for it to survive. Human beings aren’t self sufficient until maybe like 7 years old (using a weak definition of self sufficient). If self sufficiency is the condition then killing a tolder isn’t murder.

We've been through this. The technology is there to make a 7 month old fetus viable (not every time though). It's not even close for a 3 month old embryo. If the tech gets there, I will adjust my beliefs.

And you are too smart for the gotcha games. You know exactly what I'm getting at regarding the viability of a 3 month old embryo vs a toddler. Let's not make this a vocabulary fight.

Or do, it's part of my meta-point that there's no winning or losing this argument. You think a 3 month old embryo is a person, I do not. End of discussion.

Fair enough. But again; that belief of yours is based on your feelings. Biology, philosophy, and theology are at odds with your position.

What are we to do. Overturn Roe and let the legislature (or state legislatures) decide? Seems pretty reasonable.

Do you not remember our prior chat? Biology, philosophy, and theology are abstract concepts. There are biological, philosophical, and even theological arguments that support my belief too. Your belief is far more feelings-based than mine (think of the beautiful 3 millimeter sized babies!)

I would prefer a ban on all abortions after 3 months (except to save the mother's life or extreme fetal nonviability, which are extremely rare edge cases) for the whole country, but it does look like it will eventually be a state by state thing. The country is slowly breaking apart.

I would like to hear those arguments then. It seems even you admit that your position is a compromise position that is less than fully rational. I can live with a centrist compromise because what am I to do... become militant about it? That would be absurd given I am arguing for protecting the dignity of other human creatures.

The best argument you have made is in here somewhere about potentiality for post womb viability. Flush that out a bit because it’s much more convincing than beliefs.

However (and we have been over this before haha), the existence of a human person seems an objective reality rather than a subjective one. The homo sapien either exists or it doesn’t. A definition based on a fluctuating boundary would make it subjective. Today it’s not a person at 2 months but tomorrow it might be... Not only is that logically unpersuasive it leads to a situation with perpetual debate. There will be constant debate. By the time a definition is settled on, it’s already out of date.

Further it leads to the conclusion that a genetically intact zygote and an unfertilized egg or even a simple skin cell are no different when we know at the outset that isn’t true. An unfertilized egg has no potentiality, a zygote does. The zygote requires an action to prevent it from achieving its potential. An undertilized egg does not. Thus, they cannot be the same thing.

To accept your argument would require that one accepts this.

I don’t buy it.

I respect your position, just don't share it. Hence the muddled centrist compromise I support, which you understandably cannot. I'm just going with common sense, the 3 month old thing isn't a person deserving protection to me. And while definitionally I agree that either a thing exists or it doesn't and that thing can be called homo sapiens, it is also true that a thing called homo sapiens has different stages in its existence. In the very earliest stages, before the formation of a brain or the ability to survive as more than a tumor inside an adult homo sapiens, I do not believe it is entitled to exist.

I am aware that is unconvincing for many, and hence the debate ends.

How do you feel about miscarriages? Many more of those happen than abortions. Do all of those dead people require funerals and last rites? Even the first trimester ones? If not why not?

Miscarriages are just like what they are; natural death.

The funeral seems a religious matter.

Aren't you religious? What would you do in that instance?

Have the baby burried and the proper service. But I don’t have a non theological argument for why. That really is a belief.

That was a very good question tho.

Student, go read a book on science and philosophy. You're arguments are weak and your conclusions weaker.

Very true. But how so?

Allow me one more attempt at providing a rational basis for my point of view...

If I am just some combination or matter, some collection of particles, some clump of cells... then I really have no “right” to life because am not really anything beyond some collection of particles. No different than a rock or a tree, a worm, or a bowl of chicken soup.

What is it that makes me more than this? Why do I have a right to life? I think we can agree the answer is consciousness (what I would refer to as the soul). It’s that mysterious thing whereby we are more than the sum of our parts. We are conscious sapient beings above and beyond chemistry and physics. If not, then I have no claim to anything... just as a rock doesn’t.

If consciousness is what equips me with rights or what makes me more than a bowl of soup, when do I acquire it? I don’t really know. In fact no one really even knows what it is. But certainly I possess it. And certainly we can all agree that terminating a conscious human being is murder.

What about 2 day old baby? They have no idea what they are. They are not conscious in the sense that I am. So can we terminate their life? No... because we know they are more than a collection of matter because they have the potential for full human consciousness. They are in some middle ground between simple matter and human consciousness. Therefore, it isn’t consciousness that gives one a right to life but the potential for consciousness.

And where is the genesis of the potentiality for consciousness? Conception. Therefore, any collection of cells with the potential for achieving human consciousness has a right to life.

Those are excellent arguments. But not dispositive. You make a good case for your beliefs, as I do for mine. Still no way to solve it.

It just comes down to definitions of 'person', 'consciousness', 'rights', 'murder', and so on. Your definitions are good but there's no way to prove they are better than mine.

I enjoyed our debate. Happy to keep going but there's really not much more to say. I am curious about your answer to my miscarriage question above.

Agreed. Time to move on until next time. Ha.

"Polar Bear, the problem is the side forcing the issue (vs allowing choice) is doing so because they believe they are preventing murder. "

I guess it's a question of who can consider the levels of abstraction then. It is first a question of "is this murder?"

Who can deal with the fact the different Americans come up with different answers to this question? That the different answers can only be rationalized in a democracy by democracy?

Everybody who just says I'm right because I'm right and you're wrong because you're wrong is operating at a toddler level.

Who can deal with the fact that there are different answers? Not the Left who are insisting that the Supreme Court should force abortion on everyone and remain untouchable by the voters, the Congress and even future Supreme Courts.

But by all means let us agree on a Federal solution where this gets kicked back to the states and they can decide. Although I would prefer to see constitutional rights extended to the unborn.

We have. Just stating again that terminating the existence of what will quickly become a person (even if you don’t think it is at the outset) so that they won’t be a drag on society is pretty scary. Exterminating drags on society isn’t different from building walls to keep our undesirables who are drags on society (they are not but that’s what the nativists argue).

How about we move toward treating all people and potential people (if you must pretend to believe that) with dignity and respect.

You can't win this, and neither can I. Potential people? So we need to treat all viable ova with dignity and respect? Sperm?

My support for abortion in the first 3 months is not just about society. It's mainly about an actual human being having the right to decide what to do with a clump of cells in her body.

And I'm not pretending anything. I truly, completely believe that a clump of cells is not a person. I'm not sure when it becomes one, but I am fairly sure it's after 3 months of gestation.

And nativists truly think it’s moral to separate children from their parents as a deterrent and that other races are inferior.

But facts suggest otherwise.

If we run things based on subjective feelings rather than objective facts, let the strongest man win.

I feel like your money and wife should be mine. So I’ll just take it if I can... objective reality be damned.

The objective facts are on my side. A clump of cells that would quickly cease function if removed from the host is objectively not a person.

A 1 month old baby removed from the care of another human will quickly cease to function. So, that argument seems pretty week.

A human is baby isn't independently viable for years. That just a mammalian attribute.

Exactly... so where is the separation between cells and a genetically intact homo sapien? Conception. There is no other logical candidate.

If you want to chose not to support a child, so so prior to conceiving one. Once you have crossed that threshold. It’s no longer your personal choice.

My position is typical of the centrist middle, and not perfectly logical.

@JWatts, a month old clump of cells removed from the body it lives in will quickly cease to function no matter how many humans care for it. The difference is capacity to exist vs no capacity to do so. It's not strictly logical but you are smart enough to get my point.

I'm not sure where the cut off is, but I'm pretty sure 3 months is well before. If technology advances to where 3 months is viable, then I'm happy to adjust my priors. But then we should have failsafe fertilization control by then so problem solved.

If the sides argue in good faith, they would agree that no one wants to abort anything. But one side thinks the other are murderers, and the other side thinks their opponents are fascist theocrats.

As I've said many times, intractable.

3 months (13 weeks) would seem pretty reasonable. I'm not sure we can get a compromise on such a centrist position though. Currently attempts to restrict abortion to 20 weeks are met with a huge amount of acrimony.

Agreed, this is probably the least compromisable (not a word) issue out there. I favor the 20 week thing myself but what can you do?

In liberal Scandinavia, abortions after 13 weeks are frowned upon.

A very sensible cultural norm. I frown upon those too.

And yet this position only exists as a cover for people who have some moral qualms. As it turns out, abortion at some arbitrary limit means abortion on demand up to and including during labor. If you insist that the limit should be 28 weeks, a doctor will sign a form saying the baby is at 28 weeks.

After all, no one wanted to prosecute Kermit Gosnell. No one even wanted to talk about him. And he was performing post-birth abortions.

There he is, reliably spouting total bullshit.

And there you are, refusing to reply.

Every now and then a baby survives an abortion. They are usually left to die in a dish. Can we agree that a baby that has survived outside the womb is actually a baby and by refusing to administer whatever medical help is available, the doctors, nurses and hospital is in fact committing murder?

Why are none of these case prosecuted?

I don't know, SMFS, but I do know you are taking a nice reasoned discussion and turning it into a gory freakshow of edge cases. And with people who agree with you that late term abortions should be outlawed. In fact my position is to outlaw them after 13 weeks which is anathema to your bogeymen the LEFT (cue scary music).

I didn't have to respond to the prior post because every sentence in it was false.

Abortion is always a gory freakshow of edge cases. The pro-abortion camp always makes it so. Because abortion is a gory freakshow.

In this case though it is justifiable. You insist on some sort of limit. You insist that a viable baby should not be killed. But you cannot stomach even talking about it much less prosecuting it. Which is pretty much proof of my point - such limits exist only to provide a fig leaf for people who do not like the reality which is abortion on demand up to the moment of birth.

Gosnell isn't an edge case although we would hardly know because reporters don't like covering stories that reflect badly on the Democrats. He would be in business today if he was not selling oxy on the side - despite complaints going back to the 1980s. And why?

In 2011, it was reported that none of Pennsylvania's 22 abortion clinics had been inspected by the government for more than 15 years.[53] Inspections (other than those triggered by complaints) had ceased under Ridge's governorship, as they were perceived to create a barrier to women seeking abortion services.

This is the bottom line - it is a complete ban or it is Gosnell. There isn't really any other middle point.

I followed your anti-abortion stuff here and I consider the reasoning rather soft and lacking in insight. I give a disappointing 2/10. Try harder.

Another complete horseshit post. Not a shred of truth in it. Get a grip, kid.

Once it’s a fertilized genetically intact homo sapien, yes.

#2 I would rather annihilate Red China.

Can you find a single person who cares what you would do?

Many. My family, my friends, my coworkers, my neighbors. And most of them agree with my ideas on fighting Satan and freeing the world form totalitarism.

None of those people are real.

Yes, they are.

Yes we are!

None of those people would do the actual fighting

You advocate the genocide of a billion people? Like Trump, you are Hitler.

Author lost me when he said that Coates was an "obsequious cheerleaders for Obama". Coates was the first substantive African American critic of Obama I ever heard. Such a sweeping generalization undermines my ability to buy the rest of the article.

I dont read Coates much, can you provide me a good example of that?

He did criticize Obama a number of times for believing too much in progress on racial matters, but on the whole he supported Obama and all the diversity and police brutality initiatives his administration handled; he just thought they didn't go far enough. Very different from Cornel West, who Coates accused of being too critical of Obama on economic and foreign policy when he viewed racial matters as central. For West (whose camp the socialist Hedges is in), the demon is "neoliberalism", which Obama represented, for Coates it's "whiteness", which he believes Obama's administration was at least a force against it, which is why he wrote a book about Obama.

Is coates really against "whiteness", or the conception of america/mainstream culture as intrinsically white? I mean is he antiquity or merely anti white dominance?

For him, that's not an "or", they're inextricably linked. A lot of people in the critical race theory camp that he's in claim that whiteness is the system which dominates non-white people, and he writes in one of his books (the one addressed to his son) that white people can't help but perpetuate this system, because it's the key part of what makes someone white. Like a lot of critical theory of any variety, on race, capitalism, gender, etc., it's really convoluted and the words don't have determinate meanings.

Ahh, well that depends on if you define America's founding ideals as somehow inherently related to "whiteness", like the alt-right does. Doesn't it? Like if capitalism, or individual liberty are inherently "white"
concepts, then you can't have capitalism or individual liberty and not be oppressing black people. So the far left and the alt-right basically agree on that - it's just that the alt-right is in favor of it. To me it seems like a too-convenient rationalization for a bunch of Marxist-socialists to conflate racial injustice with capitalism and individualism.

That's a fair critique of Coates: that his claims about America, the Constitution, and its culture are simply those of the alt-right, with them for it, him against it. Coates follows Derrick Bell, the original critical race theorist when it comes to the US Constitution and legal system, in rejecting Martin Luther King's idea, favored by Obama and most liberals and conservatives, that the Constitution is a "promissory note" for racial equality, and instead contending that America itself, and all the laws and ideas going with that, was founded on whiteness and therefore on the exploitation and domination of "black bodies", one of his favorite phrases.

I would think Coates's position would have to lead to emigrating from America to some place not fundamentally "white". The 'promissory note' position means you can fix things and make them better and fairer for all. Coates' position implies black people literally do not and cannot belong in such a fundamentally 'white' place.

And hence it proves that Coates' position is all about shaking down White liberals rather than improving the lot of African Americans. He could leave if he wanted to. A trivial number of Blacks have ever gone back to Africa - and many of those that have decided they did not like it. Eldridge Cleaver and Huey Newton preferred to come back to the United States and face the chance of prison rather than stay in Algeria and Cuba.

Yes, I don't buy into Coates' schtick at all.

The strange thing is that Coates rejects black nationalism either in the US or elsewhere. His father, who took an active part in his upbringing and education, was a black nationalist and Afrocentrist who transmitted those ideas to Ta-Nehisi (his parents named him that after the Ancient Egyptian word for, I think, "dark soil"), but Coates himself became disillusioned with them. So I don't know what he's proposing: that black bodies are fated to be destroyed by the whiteness which all white people carry in them? He just sounds like a fatalist and/or a nihilist who thinks extreme levels of violence are the only way things change, but he's not willing to say that directly. A certain set of white (or even just non-black) and often wealthy liberals seem to eat it up religiously, though.

As someone above said, Coates is a shake-down artist. He doesn't want separation from Whitey. He doesn't want final settlement. He doesn't want peace. He wants guilt and a running sore, forever.

Can anyone imagine how deliciously funny it would be if all white people were raptured tomorrow and Coates and his ilk were left to actually build something for themselves? You would have Congo on the Potomac within a year or three. Whitey would be blamed for that inevitable failure too.

It sounds to me like he's just doing what a lot of the Marixist-Socialist left has done for decades: attempt to co-opt the struggle against racial injustice as a means to further the struggle against capitalism.
Both his and Chris Hedges messages is essentially "You can't really have racial justice unless you overthrow capitalism and implement a Socialist state." They're just using a different tactic - Hedges is going for "diversity is a ruse to keep the black man down!" and Coates is going for "capitalism is intrinsically white!" But the end goal is the same - to convince people interested in racial equality that the only way to achieve racial equality is via socialism.


My take on Coates is that his "socialism" is purely incidental to his general ethnic rent-seeking behaviour. I don't think he has a cohesive "socialist" philosophy at all.

"All we need is a voluntary, free-spirited, open-ended program of procreative racial deconstruction. Everybody just gotta keep fuckin' everybody 'til they're all the same color." (Senator Jay Billington Bulworth, 1998)

#1 I agree with this:
Ford points out that “diversity” has been substituted by the white power elites for “affirmative action.” And, he argues, diversity and affirmative action are radically different. The replacement of affirmative action with diversity, he says, effectively “negates African-American history as a legal basis for redress.”

Affirmative action should only be for the decedents of blacks who were slaves in the USA.

You do not take a man who for years has been hobbled by chains, liberate him, bring him to the starting line of a race, saying, ‘You are free to compete with all the others,’ and still justly believe you have been completely fair … ,”

That is a bad metaphor choice because we did this literally and they kicked the butts of all white sprinters. Harvard did that with Jews and Chinese and they kicked the butts of whites.

What about inner-city blacks who for 70 years have been slaves to Democrat policies that have kept them chained in crappy union-run schools and crime-infested neighborhoods?

While whites have had the privilege of all the good music schools and music teachers, black Americans invented black Gospel, blues, jazz, rock and roll, rap and hip hop. Those make up most of the most popular styles of music in the world. Privilege is overrated.

They're a very musical people.

Entertainers are arguably more powerful in modern America than scientists and academics. Trump certainly shows that. So maybe black Americans are onto something, and the white people slaving away in STEM classes are the chumps.

The Brits seem to have been pretty inventive musically, in the 60s and 70s at least -- Black Sabbath, King Crimson and so on

2. Pei: "Ultimately, China will not only have to give up its state-capitalist model, the root cause of Sino-American trade tensions, but also curtail its geopolitical ambitions and put on hold its challenge to American preeminence." In the initial trade negotiations between the U.S. and China, the U.S. negotiators demanded veto power over China's fiscal policies. Of course, it's ridiculous to expect a sovereign country, a very strong one at that, to give up such a significant sovereign power. What were they thinking? Well, they were thinking what Mr. Pei is thinking. These people are as nutty as Trump!

When I read the NYT article at the time of the initial trade negotiations, in which the reporter stated that the U.S. was demanding a veto power over China's fiscal policy, I assumed the writer had misunderstood. With this essay by a professor at Claremont McKenna College, I now believe the NYT reporter had it right. This is the path to war, not only a trade war but an actual war. From his perch on the college campus in California, Pei is telling Xi that Xi and China must capitulate to demands from Trump that not only deprive China of its sovereignty, but defy common sense. How can China possibly resolve a trade dispute with China when the U.S. expects a total capitulation. Indeed, Pei even admits as much: "However, capitulating to a "trade bully," as the Chinese media calls Trump, is hard for Xi, a strongman in his own right. Worse still, it is unclear what Trump wants or how China can appease him. The terms his negotiators presented to Beijing in early May were so harsh that it is inconceivable that Xi could accept them without being seen as selling out China."

You should not confuse an opening demand in a business negotiation with an "expectation".

To Pei, it's not only an expectation, it's essential: "Ultimately, China will not only have to give up its state-capitalist model, the root cause of Sino-American trade tensions, but also curtail its geopolitical ambitions and put on hold its challenge to American preeminence." Pei isn't negotiating, he is stating what he believes are the essential terms.

1. So the white liberals are just using diversity as a con, but apparent Chris Hedges , white man, has their best interests at heart, even as he pivots to dismantling "corporate hegemony". Which of course black people should be interested in despite the evil corporations manifest interest in dismantling jim crow. Corporate hegemony, thats the true evil, black people, so get ob board the anticapitalist bus. We should maybe refer to this as the socialist con.

Equality of opportunity demands equality of education (no rich schools poor schools), equality of law (no rich lawyers poor lawyers), equality of healthcare (no rich medicine poor medicine), equality of democratic representation (no rich donors vs voters)...

The social justice vision of Dr. King is racial justice. Social democracy is the anti-capitalist bridge to local, egalitarian, economic democracy.

Inequality of opportunity need not be distributed along racial lines. Rich vs. poor is not intrinsically equivalent to white vs. black.

If the price of equality of opportunity across rich vs poor axes is a net reduction in future opportunities for everyone, which is what will happen with the sort of economic controls you desire, then it's not a good idea. We can equalize opportunities across racial lines without redistributing wealth from rich to poor. There can be rich blacks and rich white and poor blacks and poor whites and a completely capitalist economic system with all of the economic growth and technological innovation that processed AND have a racially inclusive society. The fact that rich/poor differences may continue to exist would not conflict with that.

process = produces

sometimes I think about Dennis Hastert and you gotta figure that “a pedophile wrestling coach who was totally beholden to a local ice cream mogul was House Speaker” will be a big thing to people who study our history hundreds of years from now. it just isn’t now for some reason

“If the price of equality of opportunity across rich vs poor axes is a net reduction in future opportunities for everyone, which is what will happen with the sort of economic controls you desire, then it's not a good idea”

& there is the nub of our disagreement. I believe that substantial social equality can be (& has been, partially) pursued without degrading general material welfare or individual freedom, as a libertarian philosophy posits it must.

But I must admit to believing that it is immoral to equate the opportunity for status goods (better lawyers, better schools, better medicine, more political power) with the opportunity for equal access to these public goods.

I wouldn't call medicine a "status good".
But it's really hard to eliminate differences in access to medicine (or lawyers or education), even if you completely nationalized it. Absent money, people will use political connections to get an advantage. At least a black man with money can buy things - because the color green is good everywhere. In a state-run system, the people with the political connections control access to public goods, and white people have more connections.

Higher quality medicine is, by (my) definition, a status good. US metropolitan hospitals are stratified by class.

To my thinking, the “absent money” comment is weird. Like saying “absent pets, people will use animals for companionship”.

Currently money and connections are used by the privileged to extend and cement their privilege. Granted, we’ve seen elites in some states just take out the $ part. But we have also seen many political systems successfully lean against both aspects of privilege. More of that, please...

Marginal improvements in social justice have been and are possible towards a radical egalitarianism.

Also granted that, at some tipping point, polities need to democratize/localize for egalitarianism to be anything but a ruse.

ut we have also seen many political systems successfully lean against both aspects of privilege.

I mean the fact that a government is implementing your preferred policies is not de facto evidence that the "privileged" are being leaned against. Socialist policies are not by definition equivalent to true equality.

“In a state-run system, the people with the political connections control access to public goods, and white people have more connections.”

Thus the need for egalitarian democracy, the “green shoots” of which have leveled the playing field for access to higher ed (state universities and community colleges), retirement income (social security), air, water, sanitation (myriad laws and public infrastructures): we built that! We can do more (and repair the wealthy “looting” of the public sphere).

Many institutions in many nation states are truly egalitarian-democratic and support the public good.

Mixed economies’ welfare states =/= Soviet socialist hellhole.

which have leveled the playing field for access to higher ed (state universities and community colleges), retirement income (social security), air, water, sanitation (myriad laws and public infrastructures): we built that!

You're kidding yourself if you think access to any of those things has been leveled. Wealthy people still go to better schools, have bigger retirement funds (and larger SS paychecks), and live in environmentally cleaner areas. Indeed the fact that governments decide where to put landfills and other environmental hazards is directly responsible for the fact that they are disproportionately located in non-white communities.

Quote:"equality as a fact and as a result.” Outcome equality is not possible without the gulag.

The article by Hedges on diversity is one of the most intellectually dishonest pieces of writing I've read this year. (And a few weeks ago I mistakenly clicked a Breitbart link.) I'll post my comment on the piece below. But it's really a shame that the "radical left" has become consigned to a complete inability to discern simple things. I don't mean to generalize based on this piece, but the man is teaching at Princeton for heaven's sake.

My comment:

"No, you are clearing obfuscating diversity and tokenism. Tokenism comes with the territory of being one of or the first African Americans entering into all or mostly white institutions. You can't just pick a black person who did something you didn't like and say, he's there because he's a "good black" I can't even begin to tell you how much nuanced that assessment lacks. Without getting too deep, your initial examples themselves don't even make sense. Barack Obama is "black, brilliant and fiercely independent..." in your own words. A politician of Obama's ilk may never be seen again. As a leader of thought and motivator of people, there is no one near him. You can disagree with his presidency, you're critiques were vague but fair. You're assessment is so banal in it's threshold for "diversity", it's stunning. I suppose any black person who is successful must have gotten where they are thanks to the white power structure that let them. No offense, but Ford is factually wrong on a few points, most notably the fact that the deportation numbers are skewed due to a change in the way the word is defined. Furthermore, no matter Obama's enforcement numbers (though a keen eye will note that he was enforcing strictly to completely reform immigration, then laid off when Republicans wouldn't come to the table) his enforcement always concentrated on criminals and steered clear of non-violent migrants and families. Trump has done the opposite. To ignore this is almost like lying. For any sense of integrity, you should at the least include the directive Obama set for ICE, instituting a leniency policy on non-violent migrants: https://www.ice.gov/.../prosecutorial-discretion-memo.pdf"

Hedges is an ideologue who is trying to exploit anti-elitist sentiments among blacks to rope them into his own pet cause. It's almost the same thing that Trump does with lower class whites. "Diversity is a con to keep the black man down" is a virtual mirror image of "the elites are trying to replace the white population" - both are intended to get rather less intelligent people to become paranoid of the mainstream political consensus in order to make them receptive to a more radical message.

And I do wonder what their alternative is. For the life of me I can't seem to pick out what he's trying to say. He cites Ocasio-Cortez's win as "not diversity" because she has liberal politics. If his point is that even people of color can be right of socialist, then, he should just say that.

"Diversity is a con to keep the black man down" is a virtual mirror image of "the elites are trying to replace the white population."

Trump doesn't actually say stuff like that though. He "winks" at it, meaning there's room for debate on whether he MEANS that or not. On the left they're openly race-baity and speak in terms of white-on-black injustice constantly. This is false equivalence.

Coates is not the President of the leader of the Democratic Party. He's a left wing ideologue, much like certain right-wing ideologues, who do openly claim that immigration is a plot by elites to replace white people.

1. Reminds me that "the academic and media con" continues to be played as long as proffered accounts purporting to deal substantively with race issues in the US (like Hedges' and Ford's) FAIL utterly to treat the phenomena of serfdom and enslavement that existed in and across Europe for millennia prior to the advent of the colonial era.

Why the explanatory power to be derived from due consideration of the history of enslavement, serfdom, and peasantry in Europe prior to 1500 CE is never sought in popular press accounts or in popular academic accounts continues to baffle, explicable though these lacunae may be.

Why do our academic institutions themselves FAIL so miserably to cite for all Americans the histories of enslavement and peasantry in and across succeeding millennia of European history? What explains academics' and universities' loud silence when the matter is the practice of enslavement, serfdom, and peasantry across millennia of European history?

If descendants of 1500 CE slaves had a big a
"S" on their forehead, maybe they would

Without the "S" we can all assumed we were Top Dog all along. I can say I descend from Eric the Red, and not the ugly slave who seduced him just the once.


Except of course, most Africans weren't slaves or descended from them. Even in the US, many African-Americans don't have slave ancestors, being more recent immigrants. Meanwhile, in other parts of the world, minority groups continue to be used in slave labour conditions.

Edward is right. 95% of white people are mostly descended from "slaves" or serf-equivalents over preceding centuries. 95% of all populations which underwent the Neolithic revolution were.

Historically, Africans are amongst the least enslaved race on the place.

2. The author is trying to sell something to Xi, but I'm not sure he'll buy.

At this point it's really the Trumpian framework that Chinese manufacturing has been driven by "unfairness" rather than simply low wages.

Amusingly they don't consider the low wages part of the unfairness, they prefer Hocus Pocus.

But really in the end it comes down to the wages. Will American companies allow Trump to put on broad tariffs to extinguish the Chinese labor advantage? I think not, so in the long run China retains its manufacturing position.

Manufacturing and low wage competition is more of a meme than an economic truism. And manufacturing is such a broad term it is easy to lose sight of what we’re talking about.

Low productivity manual assembly work, e.g. iPhone FC plants are not anything we should be worried about “losing” to China. And China is losing these to Vietnam and indonesia as their wages rise. This area of unskilled manufacturing will indeed always fly to the next low cost area. But the US shed these 99% of these jobs a long time ago.

Skilled high productivity manufacturing work is where the wages are at. This has been in decline in the US primarily due to automation and competition from Europe, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea.

Trumps focus on China seems to be about his complete inability to understand trade deficits and why they are determined by differences in savings rates.

Actually the studies reported here at MR previously say that the low wages did impact US manufacturing workers, and there were not suddenly better jobs available to them.

Specifically those workers lost jobs and moved to lower wage positions.

That's what we're supposed to be talking about, that's what Trump is supposed to be repairing.

Citation please.

Sure thing.


It gets technical, but I think it's fair to say economists agree manufacturing workers were actually harmed, and if there were gains elsewhere they were for other people.

So you don’t have any economics education at all....or you wouldn’t use that link. It says the opposite of what you are trying to say....

So I do have Econ degrees which is a bs argument from authority. And I hate fallacies.

Please explain in detail what you believe the evidence is from that link.

#1 if anyone is successful is because ideals were forgotten and is obedient zzzzzzzzz

this por way of thinking leads to say things like obedient blacks are promoted, women advance in exchange of sexual favors...... be afraid of guys who think collaboration does not exist, that everything is a power relationship.

Shorter Hedges: Don't trust anyone who isn't a Marxist Socialist. Those successful black people are all secretly working for The Man.

My wife trades "favors" with the Man. But not to advance but because she enjoys it far more than she does with me. I'm a cuck.

1. This was amusing enough. It is a left/meritoric argument against tokenism - rather than the right/meritoric claim that "there aren't enough good people," this says "they aren't choosing the good people."

But of course it gets a bit polemic.

It seems more to me that he's realized that racism is the left's original sin. It doesn't matter if what he's saying makes any sense. So long as he berates them for it in new sounding ways, they'll get a sort of masochistic pleasure from the experience.

1. FYI, the Supreme Court case which establishes the diversity exception to the limits on affirmative action is Grutter v. Bollinger.

2- give me a break! That was pathetic. Talk about clueless academics. This guy (from Claremont of course!) is trying to be the good cop to Trumps bad cop right? “Just relax and enjoy getting screwed by Donald!. Go back to being a good boy and not getting in the way of Uncle Sam!”

So the only option for China is to acquiesce? I don’t buy it for a second.


I don't think depictions of violence against cucks will be appreciated here!

As a fellow major cuck I second this. These insensitive leftists are trying to squash free-speech by intimating cuckservatives like us with threats of violence.

This game made me so upset I jr just listened to 50 cent “many men” 4 times in a row

Those thumb-sucking NYT columns could probably be trimmed down to tweet length -- but the comment sections are pure liberal comedy gold.


The affirmative action of Dr. King and President Johnson was a species of reparations, a form of redress for specific and eminently documentable harms done to African Americans, as a people. It was understood as a social debt owed to a defined class.”

“ ‘Diversity,’ ” Ford wrote, “recognizes no such debt to a particular people, or to any people at all. Rather, its legal basis is the ‘compelling interest’ of public institutions in a diversified student body (or faculty).”

That's because we've moved on from the redress. African Americans have been given a half century of welfare, but for those who want a truly better life in America, now we're trying to move on to equal representation and a reasonable assimilation. And if it weren't for demagogue pieces of shit like this guy telling African Americans to revolt rather than achieve, it would be working better for their community.

Chris Hedges' byline is a great demotivator. He's a stupid man. (James Hal Cone once said, "The Kingdom of God was a black happening. It was blacks saying 'no to whitey'". Cannot imagine why a divinity school hiring committee would take a pass on him).

1. It reads like a progressive after a bottle of Mad Dog: full of incomprehensible crazy talk mixed with what he really thinks.

#4 #4 Kavanaugh

I expect Kavanaugh to be approved by the Senate.

I expect he will be a respected Supreme Court Judge. But I also expect, like all the other candidates approved by the Federalist Society he will rule for the rich, the powerful and the corporate and we may never ever have a government for the people, by the people, and of the people again.

What he does on abortion will be secondary to his role in preserving the role and power of the already rich and powerful. (Any chance he will overturn Citizens United?)

I wonder if the struggling workers who voted for Trump understand how they have been taken advantage of by the rich and powerful and corporate once again. (Voting for Clinton would also have resulted in rule by the rich and powerful and corporate, too)

Angry black woman: Are you sayin' the Democratic Party don't care about the African-American community?
Senator Bulworth: Isn't that OBVIOUS? You got half your kids are out of work and the other half are in jail. Do you see ANY Democrat doing anything about it? Certainly not me! So what're you gonna do, vote Republican? Come on! Come on, you're not gonna vote Republican! Let's call a spade a spade!
[Loud, angry booing]
Senator Bulworth: I mean - come on! You can have a Billion Man March! If you don't put down that malt liquor and chicken wings, and get behind someone other than a running back who stabs his wife, you're NEVER gonna get rid of somebody like me!

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